by Dani T. '21, Kalkidane Y. '21, and Leeah M. '20
On Feb. 6, Lakeside’s Black Student Union (BSU) presented an assembly entitled “A Celebration of The Black Experience!” This assembly was dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as to Black History Month. MLK’s leadership sparked a sense of urgency and action for individuals across the globe to fight for equality. His commitment to black rights has created within society a deeper appreciation for racial justice and inspire us all to this day. Moreover, since 1976, every U.S. president has designated the month of February as Black History Month. This month gives black people the space to tell our stories and to be proud of them while recognizing the contributions of black people to U.S. history. Both events, MLK Day and Black History Month, are incredibly empowering and inspirational for black people, so the BSU students wanted to share this celebration with the Lakeside community.
The assembly was meant to immerse Lakeside Upper School students into the lives, stories, and culture of their black peers. It featured presentations by BSU students in the form of student speeches and poems; afro-beats and hip-hop dances; as well as a fashion show, which incorporated different cultures within the African student population. The assembly also included video interviews of BSU students about misconceptions that they have faced and trivia to give the audience a better perspective on the black experience. Our goal through this performance was to build a more united and empathetic Lakeside community. We also wanted to uplift the black students of our school by giving them the space to speak their truth. If every single student feels that their whole identity is welcome within the walls of Lakeside, then the entire school will be the better for it.